Five Random Five

January 15, 2018


Five Noises That Frighten Me

Balloons popping

Snakes hissing

Sound of a pump-action shotgun

Unexplained scratches under my bed at night

Nickelback on the radio


Five Rarely-Used Condiment-Derived Adjectives







Five Reasons Not To Tip Your Waiter


The dessert arrives before the appetizer

He coughs in your face and laughs like a hyena

His BO is more pungent than your garlic curry

It’s a dine and dash!


Five Odd Things To Keep In Your Crisper Drawer

Leather falconry gauntlets

A calcified granuloma

A chastity belt

A copy of The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers #2

Actor J. K. Simmons


Five Muppet Mistakes

Getting drunk at Christmas Party & telling Kermit what you really think of him

Sharing a hot tub with Kevin Clash

Machine washing & not dry cleaning

Taking Henson’s name in vain

Biting the hand that fills you



Tales From My Screwed-Up Childhood #12

January 13, 2018

When I was a kid, I had a dog named Ringo. He was an older dog and I was really young – about three or four – when Ringo became ill and had to be put to sleep. Of course, my idiot parents didn’t want to tell me that, so they made up a story. No, not the “he went to live on a farm” one. I was told that Ringo had been taken to the vet but he had escaped from his cage and run out into the road and then been hit by a car. I have no idea how any adult could think that was the better white lie for a preschooler, but that’s the family in which I was raised.

Begins to explain a lot about me, eh?

January 10 Trivia Rankings

January 11, 2018

Far fewer flakes than last week, Quizlings. Thank Fishel for small mercies, eh? But a hearty thanks to all who came out to play.

Remember, Archer fans – you won’t want to miss next week’s game. Some lucky trivia player will go home with a special Archer-related prize from my own personal collection!

This week? We chatted about poetic birds, retired Bulls jerseys and sick film parents. Plus somebody got hepatitis! And then there was this big reveal…

Now, let’s see how your team did this week. Here are the rankings for 1/10/18:

Oprah/Hanks 2020 66
Call Me By Your Trivia Name 63
The Ugandan Knuckles 60
Mr. Ed The Real Stable Genius 60
YOU Don’t Know Jack 57
The Very Stable Trivia Geniuses 56
Golden Globes Heavyweight Champion 56
Colleen Will Take Your Leftovers 56
Four Tacos 55
Unstable Geniuses 54
Unstable Table 48
For Sale: Framed Penguin 47
North Korean Bobsled Team 47
We’re, Like, Really Smart At Trivia 46
Life’s A Beach 45
The HQTies 43


January 8, 2018

As ads go, it was pretty straightforward. Slightly sexy, but classy. Very upscale.

I caught sight of it in a local newspaper, sandwiched somewhere in between the want ads and the movie listings. About eight column inches all told – an ad for a fine clothier or furniture store, something of that nature. It showed a lovely female dressed seductively in a nice lacy slip or camisole lay demurely on a richly upholstered divan, maybe a day bed. She held in her arms a Siamese cat to which she seemed to be talking sweetly (no doubt a beloved pet). She wasn’t tarty or sleazy, no far from it – she was portrayed as a beautiful young woman with great taste, the perfect model, the perfect target audience identifier, sure to garner a few new clients for the upscale shop.

Point is, there’s this major league hottie in her underthings lounging on a sofa and what is the first thing I say upon seeing the ad?

“Ooooh!!! Kitty!”


Man, I have GOT to get out more.

People I Hate #347 (In A Series)

January 5, 2018

Who: The call-and-response DJ.

Why: You’re at a prom or wedding or some such social gathering and the chuckster spinning tunes decides to let loose one of those “When I say A, you say B!” chants to get the crowd worked up but what he’s really done is unsheathed the last of the lame-ass arrows in the piss-poor quiver that is his disc jockey arsenal, making the disturbingly lackluster chicken dance and any line dancing debacle previously parlayed in hopes of stirring the masses look positively inspired by comparison.

How I justify it: You say talentless, I say hack.

January 3 Trivia Rankings

January 4, 2018

Wow! What an evening of triviawesomeness! Some fantastic new faces, some lovely returning faces and so much white stuff. I hope everyone made it home safely. We’ll see you next week.

Meanwhile, one lucky Quizling made off with a gift bagsket full of goodies* (congratulations, Vince). More raffles and surprises as the year progresses so stay tuned and keep playing.

This week? We talked about islands, phonetic alphabets and triangles (the math kind, not the musical kind). Plus there was this cinematic parody…

Now let’s see how your team did. Here are the weekly rankings:

‘Bama Are The Yankees Of College Football 68
Eric Snowed-In 64
Our Trivia Answers Are Bigger Than Yours 62
It’s Colder Than A Melania Trump Stare 58
We Ain’t Afraid Of No Snow 56
Put It On Dick’s Tab 56
Nature HATES Them 56
Snow Way 56
I’m Afraid Of My Next Heating Bill 54
Good God, It’s Snowing Outside 50
Z Is For Zzzzzelda 48
Budweiser? I HardlyKnow Her 44
Our President Is A Bigger Buttonhole Than Yours 42
Baby, It’s Cold Outside 41
Cyclone Bomb Is What Happened In My Toilet Today 31

*the gift bagsket includes a Re-Gift Leftover, a Rogue One Collector Cup, a Dunkin Donuts Gift Card, Celebrations Candy in Wine Bottle, AMC Gift Cards, Centerpiece Magazine, Trivia Night Fliers (Share the love), Ready Player One Book, Doublemint Gum, Sour Patch Kids, a Tomato Jake’s Gift Card, a Tomato Jake’s Can Koozie, a Pokemon Watch, an Inflatable Crown, a Guess Who Said That? Trivia Calendar, Chapel Hill Toffee, Baby Wipes, a Starbucks Gift Card, Airheads, SweeTarts, a Framed Picture of Danny Devito as the Penguin, Ring Pops, and a Cassette of Chumbawumba’s 1997 album Tubthumper.


FIVE RANDOM FIVE (New Year’s Edition)

January 1, 2018


Five New Year’s Songs

What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve – Harry Connick, Jr.

Kiss Me at Midnight – *NSYNC

It’s Just Another New Year’s Eve – Barry Manilow

Funky New Year – Eagles

Auld Lang Syne – Jimi Hendrix (Live at the Fillmore East)


Five Resolutions I’m Making

Take dance lessons

Drink a smoothie a day

Remove the fifth corner from the spare room

Renew subscription to The American Philatelist

Embarrass my kids more


Five Little-Known New Year’s Superstitions

Feed a hobo crackers to ensure prosperity

Shave a dog’s hindquarters for good luck

Keep a sock full of nutmeg in your pants and your true love will find you

Shout a secret to keep it

To prove a point, write your name on a rock and throw it at a politician


Five Baby New Year Fears

Father Time will forget to change his diaper

He’ll get shown up by that Vietnamese Baby Tết


His ears are too big (Rudolph’s Shiny New Year only)

A Kardashian may be his mom


Five Dumb Guy Predictions for 2018

Disco will make a comeback

Obama will be re-elected in a landslide

The apes will rise at last

Canada will become the 47th US state

People will finally stop complaining about crap they can’t change


December 27 Trivia Rankings

December 28, 2017

A fun week to cap off 2017, Quizlings! Thanks for joining us. We wish you a happy new year and hope you’ll join us each and every week in 2018 for more Tomato Jake’s trivia.

Next week (January 3), the gift basket raffle in on! If you haven’t been with us since early December, here’s how you can maximize your raffle chances:

  1. Bring a newbie (one per person)
  2. Post a flier (for your chance at 50 extra raffle tickets!)
  3. Bring a non-expired can of food for cats, dogs or humans (one ticket per can – all will be distributed to local food banks and pet pantries)

This week was about African peaks, Washington memorials and life outside Earth. Plus there was this musical odyssey…

Now let’s see how your team did this week.

I Shot My Eye Out! 69
Carrie On Forever 68
Go FCC Yourself 67
E=MC Hammer 65
Little Green Toenail 62
All I Got For Christmas Was A Lug Wrench 59
Darth Vader’s The Bad One 58
Men Not Hot 58
The Octopi 56
We’re Taking Names And Checking ThemTwice 56
Dwight Eisenhower 44
A Team Has No Name 42
What Rhymes With Scrooge? 41
Ducking Around 28

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

December 24, 2017

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. Just a cute kiddie song, right? Hardly. The little brat singing the ditty is all a-titter that his mom’s liplocking old St. Nick – y’know, just pasting a big wet one on the Jolly Old Elf – snogging Father Christmas right good. The kid has no earthly idea that it’s his own dad. In fact, the little dipwad opines, “What a laugh it would have been if Daddy had only seen Mommy kissing Santa Claus last night?” Ya think, ya little doofus? Oh yeah, I’m sure Pops would have been pleased as punch to catch his wife making out with another guy, Spirit of Christmas or not. Let’s face it – if the kid is correct in any sense (and it’s not his old man in a fake beard playing tonsil hockey) that means “Mommy” is, at best, a flirt and a cheat – at worst, whoring herself out to get the kid his Christmas presents.

Face it. Your entire childhood is one seriously screwed up pastiche of Freudian mishigas.

10 Things About Christmas That Really Bug Me

December 22, 2017

I know, I know. “Bah humbug,” right? Hardly. I’m not in this to demean the season. Christmas is cool. But there are definitely a few things about it that really bug me. Not the lines and mall parking lots and how people seem to forget how to drive the last few days before the big day. No, those really piss me off, sure, but I’m talking the odd things here and there that most people wouldn’t even think twice about. Like a stupid conversation at the table next to you while you’re dining out, these things just annoy me to the point that my holiday experience in toto is diminished.

Everything’s Closed. “We will be closed on December 25 so that we can spend Christmas with our families.” Really? Honestly? What about people without families? What about those folks who don’t celebrate Christmas? Shouldn’t they be working? No way. Christmas is a holiday and pretty much everyone takes it off regardless of religion or intent. Like how you willingly take Memorial Day off but don’t bother even a second to remember the men and women who’ve sacrificed for our country while you grill hot dogs and sun yourself at the beach. Not that I begrudge anyone a day off but I just resent having to limit my cuisine choices to Chinese food if I choose to dine out on 12/25.

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas. Well, keep it to yourself. I’m sick of hearing about it. You want snow? Then you want traffic fatalities and freezing temps and ice storms and old people being stacked up like cordwood. Snow sucks. You like snow? Move to Greenland!

The music. Sure Yule ditties like Wonderful Christmastime and Feliz Navidad, just to name two, should be lumped in with water boarding as forms of torture, but I can narrow down my seasonal bile to one song, one moment that so irks me I can barely type this because it makes me think of it: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree. The original Brenda Lee version. I try to block it out of my memory but it’s when she sings, “Rockin’ around the Christmas tree at the Christmas party hop.” Then there’s this note – this evil note – that sounds like some instrument being strangled. It goes up in pitch a bit. I can’t even describe it. I don’t know music well enough to understand its origins. I only know that were I certain what instrument made this sound I might go on a one-man crusade to destroy each and every one of them to ensure this sound was never recreated ever again.

Naughty or nice. Even as a kid, this moral absolute bothered me. I could be pretty good all year but do one bad thing and all that good was cancelled out? How naughty did you have to be? I mean, I knew some nasty bullies that always seemed to get stuff from Santa every year. What the heck was the fat man’s criteria? And no one ever got coal or switches. The whole thing seemed like nothing more than a way for parents to control their kids. Which it was.

The Nutcracker. Don’t get it. Never will. It’s ballet. Church is bad enough – now I have to watch ballet? Dammit.

The science of Santa. It never fails. Every year some goon releases statistics on how fast Santa’s sleigh would have to travel to make his rounds and how, using wormholes and tesseracts and whatnot, he could actually deliver the presents in one night – and even how, through genetic engineering, possibly create a flying reindeer. Every year. IT’S PRETEND, YOU UBER-GEEKS! At the very least, it’s magic. So shut the hell up.

Which brings me to …

Legit news going soft to track Santa. I went to CNN’s web site one year and on the front page was the headline “Santa makes first US stop in Florida.” NORAD is tracking Santa, they claimed. I even heard on NPR that the US government had lifted airspace restrictions to allow Santa to fly on his rounds. Again: IT’S PRETEND, PEOPLE!!!!! I’m all for creating a mystique for kids but I resent the lessening of legitimate journalistic sources through fictitious means. Somehow I just don’t see Edward R. Murrow making up this crap.

A Christmas Carol. Not that it’s a bad story. Hell, it’s a great story! Wonderful characters and just a superlative Dickens tale! Yet every time I read it or see it portrayed, I can’t help but think that Scrooge was really a great big a-hole and that maybe he was the last person on Earth to deserve such a wholesale shot at redemption by the entire netherworld.

It’s a Wonderful Life rip-offs. Every sitcom seems to do one. Every character seems to have that George Bailey moment. Every one of us, we are led to believe, has a guardian angel ever ready to make us see the light. Which, of course, is complete BS. Would the world really be worse off if Skippy from Family Ties had never been born? Don’t know. Love to find out though.

Tangerines and nuts in stockings. Lame. Just bloody lame. Even Tiny Tim wasn’t this lame.

Sparky MacMillan still wants a hula hoop.